ANTIOXIDANTS AND OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants (beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, etc.), which protect your eyes by reducing damage related to free radical that can cause age-related eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.
|Beta-carotene||Precursor of vitamin A, used to treat night blindness||Carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, sweet potatoes|
|Vitamin C||Reduces risk of developing cataracts||Grapefruit, broccoli, strawberries, papaya, oranges, green peppers|
|Vitamin E||Protect eye cells from free radical damage, vitamin E and C work together to keep healthy tissue strong||Almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, broccoli, sweet potatoes|
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3 fatty acids are good fat that our body requires for rebuilding and maintaining body cells as well as regulating many other health functions. However, our body is unable to manufacture Omega-3 on its own – hence, Omega-3 must be obtained externally from our diet or from supplementation. Good sources of Omega-3 are plant oils such as canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts, chia seed and of course the most well-known source of omega-3 – oily fish such as salmon and tuna.
Two types of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be important for proper visual development and retinal function – Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA is found in the highest concentration in the retina, needed for optimal visual development. EPA is used in DHA production. Low levels of EPA and DHA have been associated with eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
In a large European study published in 2008, participants who ate oily fish at least once per week had half the risk of developing wet macular degeneration, compared with those who ate fish less than once per week.
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1. Augood C, Chakravarthy U, Young I, et al. Oily fish consumption, dietary docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid intakes, and associations with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;88(2):398-406
2. American Optometric Association. Diet & Nutrition.
3. American Optometric Association. Essential Fatty Acids.
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